2016 sees growth of Supercell level off, profit increases

Updated 2017-02-16 10:03:10 Xinhua

The growth of mobile game company Supercell leveled off in 2016 at a turnover of 2.1 billion euros (2.2 billion U.S. dollars).

The operational margin of the company improved, however, from 848 million to 917 million euros.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ilkka Paananen told Finnish media on Wednesday that the improved result was caused by downsized spending on marketing, from 450 million euros in 2015 to 300 million in 2016. The company did not reveal its exact profits.

Paananen said that during 2016, Supercell experienced the downfall of a game for the first time. "Clash Royale", a game that was launched in the spring, first climbed to the top level of mobile games but then suddenly dropped from the top five at the time Pokemon Go began its success.

Paananen was quoted by the Finnish business service Talouselama as saying that "even taxi drivers asked what the counter attack from Supercell will be."

Paananen said users of Clash Royale had been frustrated with some of its features. The possibility of communication between players had led to losers getting unpleasant messages.

"We had not listened to the players," Paananen admitted.

Later during the year, Clash Royale reached the top again, Paananen said.

In 2016, Japan's Softbank gave up its majority holding of Supercell and sold it to Tencent of China.

Paananen explained that when Softbank announced their wish to pull out, the Supercell management could choose who would be their successor.

"Our main criterion was that we could retain our culture and independence. And this has happened," Paananen noted.

Paananen praised the new Chinese owners of the company for respecting the independence of the management.

"We got no instructions from China even during the downfall period of Clash Royale," he said. (1 euro = 1.06 U.S. dollars)

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